MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles

Thus Spake Dingerthustra – Game Preview and Lineups 4/30

In case you haven’t noticed, the Orioles like to hit home runs.  They’ve hit four in two games against the White Sox so far, 26% of the homers the Sox have surrendered all year.  Chris Davis has hit the most homers in MLB since 2012.  They hit 217 bombs in 2015 and then added Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez, who basically only hit home runs and do nothing else of use.

Enter Mat Latos.

Obviously Latos has been pitching way above his head this year.  He’s been great and has deserved good results, but it’s hard to say a guy with a K:BB ratio of 13:7 over 24.1 IP merits an ERA below 1.00 such as he currently possesses.  Latos’ curve has improved as the season has gone along, but even so, this isn’t a guy with overwhelming stuff.  He gets by on mixing up a wide repertoire, sequencing, and keeping hitters off balance to induce weak contact.

Which is to say, I am pretty concerned that the Orioles are just going to sit back, wait for their pitch, and smoke looping curveballs and 89mph fastballs into the bleachers.  There’s also the possibility that Latos only gives up a couple solo home runs, or perhaps he is able to tease Baltimore’s all-or-nothing sluggers with pitches they think are meatballs but are just slightly different than they appear, and Latos’ Magical Mystery Tour can keep rolling another day.

The Orioles counter with Kevin Gausman, who is entering what seems to be Year 18 of his status as, “Super promising prospect whom the Orioles keep jerking around between the bullpen, rotation, and minors.”  It will be interesting to see which opposing force prevails – Gausman’s undeniable talent or the Orioles’ rugged determination to destroy every pitcher they get their hands on. Gausman has a plus fastball that he can run into the high 90s, a solid change with a lot of separation in velocity, and a slider that fluctuates between good and useless. He posted a strong cFIP last year (92) and pitched five dominant innings against Tampa Bay in his only appearance in MLB so far this season.  Anything’s possible here, but the White Sox are definitely in very real danger of their first three game losing streak of the season.  Then again, if Gausman can’t command his slider, that could be a blessing to the righty-heavy White Sox lineup.

White Sox Lineup

  1. Adam Eaton – RF
  2. Tyler Saladino – SS
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. Todd Frazier – 3B
  5. Melky Cabrera – LF
  6. Brett Lawrie – 2B
  7. Jerry Sands – DH
  8. Dioner Navarro – C
  9. Austin Jackson – CF

SP – Mat Latos

Orioles Lineup

  1. Manny Machado – 3B
  2. Adam Jones – CF
  3. Chris Davis – 1B
  4. Mark Trumbo – RF
  5. Matt Wieters – C
  6. Pedro Alvarez – DH
  7. J.J. Hardy – SS
  8. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  9. Hyun Soo Kim – LF

SP – Kevin Gausman

Lead Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan // USA Today Sports Images


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